All humans have a inherit need to belong. A sense of belonging is vital for our existence as it creates a sense of fulfillment and protection in our lives. We spend our lifetime searching to belong and be accepted and in the absence of this our lives can becoming meaningless and lose value. The desire to be socially accepted can have enormous impact both positively and negatively. Positively, belonging can increase self-esteem and bring happiness into our lives. However, if we don’t feel we belong we are ostracised and alienated. Our lives become devoted to finding a place where we feel accepted, if we ever truly do.
Two related texts exploring this particular element of belonging include the picture book, Refugees by David Miller and the novel, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger. Both texts explore the consequences of not belonging, including isolation and alienation. Similarly both texts focus on the need and search for acceptance and a sense of belonging.
The process of migration can be a disorientating and discriminatory experience is a focal point in Refugees. When the homes of two ducks are destroyed by machinery they must migrate to find a new home. Numerous attempts to integrate into new communities fail, as they are unwelcome and alienated. The ducks search for connection until they are captured and finally placed somewhere they feel protected and safe.
Refugees begins with a combination of descriptive language ‘at the feet of ancient trees’, sensory imagery ‘sparkled a small green swamp’ and an image of trees, providing shelter and protection. Blue and green colours are used to represent safety and calmness. However on the 5th page the reader is confronted with strong contrast...